VICENZA, ITALY - U.S. State department officials announced Friday the appointment of Mr. David Ballard as the first Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. Army Africa this summer.

According to Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, POLAD's are senior State Department officers assigned as personal advisors to U.S. military commanders, charged with providing policy support regarding the diplomatic and political aspects of the command's responsibilities.

"David brings deep knowledge and extensive expertise in Africa, along with a commitment to build on our success in promoting security, stability, and peace in the region," Garrett said.

A career member of the Foreign Service since 1985, Ballard will join U.S. Army Africa with more than 25 years of diplomatic experience, including extensive service in Africa as part of diplomatic missions in Morocco, Rwanda, Angola, Mozambique and Egypt.

Ballard currently holds the title of ChargAfA d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. He arrived in Lisbon in August, 2007, and served as Deputy Chief of Mission until June, 2009. As DCM, Ballard is currently the chief advisor to the U.S. Ambassador in managing the Embassy's bilateral relationship with Portugal. He also has responsibility for day-to-day direction of the Embassy.

Prior to his assignment in Lisbon, Mr. Ballard was the DCM in Tunis, Tunisia for three years, beginning in 2004. His most recent Washington assignment was as the Director of the U.S. Department of State's Office of Foreign Press from 2002 to 2004.

In Washington, Ballard also served at the former U.S. Information Agency as a country affairs officer for Francophone West Africa, and as a member of the Department of State's Senior Seminar at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center.

Ballard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service (African Studies Certificate) from Georgetown University and a Certificat d'AfaEURotudes Africaines from the National University of Ivory Coast.